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Chef Andy: Strike gold with Wild Mushroom Marsala

By Andy Mueller

It’s been said “there are bold mushroom hunters and there are old mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters.”

If you are an old mushroom hunter, you’ve played it safe and picked only the mushrooms you are positive are 100% safe to eat.

If you’re the type of mushroom hunter who takes chances and thinks just because it looks like a morel, it probably is a morel, you’re definitely very young, and old age may not be in the cards for you.

Local Chef Andy Mueller

I’ve worked with wild mushrooms my entire professional culinary career, but I still leave it to the experts to source my fungi.

Looks can be deceiving, and the consequences dire if you pick the wrong one.

Luckily, I have a friend who has been an avid mushroom hunter and expert on which mushrooms are safe to eat and which ones you must avoid.

He dropped off a bag of chanterelles the other day and this recipe was born.

Of all the mushrooms I’ve worked with, chanterelles are at the top.

Their earthy, buttery flavor and meaty texture make them perfect for a meatless alternative that satisfies the protein pang.

I try to be tricky when he drops off random bags of different types of wild mushrooms to find out where he picked them, but he always deflects any attempt at my investigative efforts with “In the area,” “Here and there,” or “I’ve got my spots.”

I’ll always try to find out, but I’d probably have better luck acquiring the recipe for Coke, the location of the Lost City of Atlantis, or why my socks always come out of the dryer inside out.

It’s just another unsolved mystery but a delicious one nonetheless.

Chanterelles can be found in the area usually from late spring to early fall, and if you can get your hands on some fresh ones, try this recipe.

It’s a little pot of gold from the forest floor.

Wild Mushroom Marsala

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat add:

• 1 tablespoon butter.

When butter is melted and starts to bubble add:

• 1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms cut into bite-size pieces (you can substitute any type of wild mushroom).


• 1/2 small onion, finely chopped.

Season with salt and pepper.

Saute for about 5 minutes, turning mushrooms until lightly browned, then add:

• 1 garlic clove, minced.

• 1/2 cup marsala wine.

• 1 teaspoon mushroom base paste (Better than Bouillon is a good brand).

Let the mushrooms cook, allowing the liquid to reduce by 75%.

Add to the mushrooms:

• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream.

Let the cream start to boil, reduce heat to medium, allow the cream to reduce by 25%, then add:

• 3-4 tablespoons of good quality grated parmesan cheese (depending on how thick you want your sauce).

Let the sauce thicken and serve over fettuccine or your favorite pasta.


Chef Andy Mueller is owner/chef of Galley 57 Supper Club in Bellevue – galley57.com.

Editor’s note: To read another recipe from Chef Andy, CLICK HERE.

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